It's rocket ship time!
For Malcolm, it's a labor of love. It doesn't look like much yet, but he's already named her. Cassandra after his girlfriend.
He slaves away hours and hours, days and days, building and building, and slowly it begins to take shape.
It's become the talk of the town!
Vernon Morse gossiped about it with his friend, Mortimer Goth.
"Did you know Nancy's boy is building a rocket on his roof? Won't that burn down the house?"
"I'm more concerned about my daughter. He better not take her up into space in that hunk of junk."
Nancy Landgraab didn't even want to think about what could go wrong. "You might die, Malcolm!"
"Just leave me alone, Mom! It's my life!"
Malcolm just kept building and building, and occasionally he'd take a break from his rocket to fix things around the house, like leaky toilets, or just carve something on his workbench. He loved working with his hands under the big sky, way up high above everyone. He felt invincible!
Her son's reckless behavior was really making Nancy mad, but she clearly couldn't stop him. So she set her mind to calmer things... like gardening.
Nancy foraged into the wild for seeds. She grew blackberries and lemon trees.
Sometimes her foraging took her past the Spanish home where Efrain Hildebrand lived with his wife Dina, and their daughters Zoe and Betsy. Their garden in the back inspired her.
Katrina Caliente also lived with the Hildebrands, and her redheaded daughter Nina often came to visit. One time, Nancy spotted Nina walking by (they were all close neighbors, after all), and stopped her for a nice chat.
"Hello, neighbor! My name's Nancy."
"Why are you holding a mop?" Nina looked very concerned, lol.
"I can't stop holding it. It's like my safety blanket. When I'm holding my mop, I feel like everything will be OK, and my son won't blow himself up entering orbit, or crash land on our house. Do you want to come inside? I'm just about to make dinner."
"Uh, sorry, I have to go."
Back in the house, Nancy started dinner, totally confused and a bit hurt. After all, why would anyone want to miss one of her dinners?
I sure have some strange neighbors, Nancy thought.
Nancy's ex-husband Geoffrey helped out with the garden after work.
He was neither encouraging or discouraging about Malcolm's rocket. In fact, he couldn't feel much of anything lately. He was just so darn sad!!
He could barely eat, not with Vernon Morse always in the house, flirting with Nancy. Every time they woohooed, Geoffrey realized how much he had lost.
Not even Scarlet could make it better. They were lovers, but their woohoo had grown... stale. At first, he thought some woohoo in the Backyard Observatory would bring back his feelings for her...
But it just made things worse, and he got so angry at her! How could she ask him to leave Nancy, and then do nothing!? He felt like nothing to her.
He asked the Future Cube, Will I ever find someone that truly loves me? That actually wants to be my Forever Ever?
It read: "Your romantic future looks not-so-bright." Lol.
One day, Vernon Morse visited with his elderly mother, Gladys. Geoffrey introduced himself to her.
He soon discovered Gladys was like his ex-wife Nancy: they were both materialistic. But everything else about her was different, and Geoffrey liked her. Gladys was outgoing and romantic.
They began flirting over chess. He could ponder her moves for hours.
Then chess turned into kissing in the bathroom. "Oh, I'm sorry. Did you want to be alone?"
Suffice to say, the Future Cube was a little... wrong.
While Geoffrey and Gladys woohooed their nights away, and Nancy and Vernon woohooed their nights away, Malcolm kept building and building and building...
Then, it happened! He tightened the very... last... screw. Rocket Cassandra was ready to blast off!
Cassandra was so beautiful! She towered over the whole world.
Malcolm hurried into his space suit. He had to test it out first! He couldn't take his girlfriend Cassandra up into space without making sure she'd be safe. After all, Mom was afraid he'd crash land and blow up the house!
"Time to see if it works! Please work, baby!"
Geoffrey excitedly ran over to his computer to "listen to space launch." He was so proud of Malcolm! His son was actually in space!
Malcolm fed all sorts of data to his father. While passing an asteroid belt, he noticed an odd, green-colored creature shaped like a plumbob. Well, it's green! It must be happy! Malcolm attempted communication by flashing green lights. The creature responded in kind, leading him around to a hole in a nearby asteroid where he found all sorts of crazy lookin' space rocks. Who knew space was so darn cool!
Finally, Malcolm initiated reentry. He was so nervous about the landing! One wrong move and he'd burn up the house!
Burn, baby, burn!
Geoffrey was so relieved! Malcolm gave him a space rock. "Thanks for believing in me, Dad!"
Malcolm showered Cassandra with kisses the next day.
"It's ready, my love!"
"Are you nervous, Cassandra?"
"It's really big. And it's my first time." (Lol, sorry).
"I'll keep you safe. I promise!"
Thanks for reading! It's been a blast, lol.